Six questions come to mind for Gov. Romney in the aftermath of Tuesday's second presidential debate at Hofstra University in New York:
1) Did you avail yourself of the "tax amnesty" program, and is this why you refuse to release your tax returns from 2009, and before?
2) You say that you balanced the budget while governor of Massachusetts in 2007. Did you not take federal funds to offset the state's deficit? When you were a candidate for your party's nomination in 2008, did you not oppose the stimulus package, and federal assistance to the states?
3) If, as you contend, you did such a superlative job as governor, then why were your approval ratings so low when you left office five years ago?
4) In Tuesday night's debate, your attitude toward solving the problem of high prices at the pump is "drill, baby, drill." This is, of course, strongly reminiscent of the views of another GOP candidate, Sarah Palin. Since you're such a devout proponent of bringing back the Alaska pipeline project, how do you intend to protect wildlife, and the environment when doing so? Do you plan to follow in the footsteps of your immediate Republican predecessor, George W. Bush, and deregulate whatever environmental protections we have currently in place. How do you intend to ensure safety in the air we breathe, and the water we drink? What are your views on global warming?
5) Do you remember this statement from another GOP candidate, Barry Goldwater: "I would remind you that extremism in defense of liberty is no vice?" Your father, who was also a governor, George Romney, joined a group of moderate Republicans, in 1964, to oppose the presidential campaign of Barry Goldwater back. Ironically, nearly 50 years later, you espouse the same kind of fiscal conservatism and anti-Russian fear tactics as Goldwater did. What do you think your father would say about your campaign and your choice of running mate, Paul Ryan, who is Barry Goldwater on steroids?
6) As a candidate, you have been adamant about not making your Mormonism an issue in the campaign. As president, will you ensure the separation of church and state, or may we expect a renaissance of the same kind of federally funded faith-based initiatives instituted by your immediate Republican predecessor, George W. Bush?
As Vice President Joe Biden said during the one and only televised vice presidential debate, "Facts matter, Martha." They matter no less today than they did a week ago.